This week, as we highlight Global Minds Lewisburg and the work they have been doing on their social media this summer, we held an interview over Instagram Live with two members of their leadership team. You can watch the interview on IGTV at the account @globalmindsint or read the interview here.
Luke Chinman: How did you get involved with Global Minds?
Suzie Vo, President: I’m Suzie. I’m the current President of the Lewisburg Global Minds. My friend Hannah and I actually brought Global Minds to our school at the beginning of the last school year because we wanted to create this community that really focused on talking about current events, as well as creating a community that fostered diversity and inclusivity in our very small and rural town.
Bridget LASTNAME, Communications Director: And I’m Bridget, the Communications Director for this upcoming school year. I joined soon after it started at our high school. I was in London the first semester and so I joined right as I got back because I was looking for a way to still learn about other cultures as I had in London. And Global Minds seemed like a perfect opportunity to do that.
Luke: You were both involved with Global Minds at the end of last school year. What was that like—both in terms of Global Minds and your online school experience?
Suzie: For the last half of our school year, we switched to online learning because of the COVID-19 outbreak. And for us, online learning was very asynchronous. We didn’t have a lot of discussions. We didn’t have class conversations about current events. So, a little bit after school went online, we decided to bring back our Global Minds meetings on an online platform. We started meeting over Zoom so that we could have this way to continue the conversations about what was happening in the world and about COVID-19 because we weren’t really getting that opportunity from our school curriculum—which is totally understandable because the shift in education was huge. So we were just really excited to continue the work that we had been doing, like talking about global issues through a virtual platform towards the end of the school year.
Luke: And included in that was your Instagram page! Over the last few months your Instagram page has been focused on sharing resources and information to help people take action regarding global issues. What prompted that transition?
Bridget: The shift to online learning through COVID has really brought a lot of attention to sharing resources online—also with the Black Lives Matter movement being more digital this year. So that really inspired us to start bringing resources to Instagram.
Suzie: During the school year, we were uncertain about how to use our Instagram. We only had a few events because it was our first year as a club. So I just felt like we could only post when something really exciting happened. We weren’t really using it as a platform to share educational resources. So I think once it really hit us—especially with the spread of information that was mostly online and through social media such as Instagram and Twitter and there were so many online resources being shared with the Black Lives Matter movement—we kind of realized that we had this online platform that we weren’t utilizing. So at the start of the summer, we really tried to get that up and running so that we could continue the conversations we would normally be talking about at our Global Minds meeting on a platform for people to learn from if they ever needed to.
Luke: Obviously you are on social media and contributing to the resources on social media, so what kind of changes have you noticed on Instagram and other social media platforms over the last few months?
Suzie: With the COVID-19 outbreak, we started noticing that a lot of communication and education has shifted to virtual and online settings. So with social media in particular, we noticed a change from the regularly programmed pictures of how people are doing or where they’ve been going to a much bigger focus on spreading educational resources and sharing opportunities and showing people how they can get involved—like signing petitions and things like that. We noticed a lot of online education as well as online activism and we wanted to be a part of that since we had our Global Minds Instagram as a great platform for that.
Luke: You are posting frequently about what’s going on and how to take action. So where do you get inspiration for your content, and how do you know what is worth posting about on your social media?
Bridget: We get a lot of inspiration from current events or what we are seeing on our personal timelines—what people are sharing or people are interested in learning more about. We also do things that interests us—topics that we want to know more about and topics we want others to know more about.
Suzie: We’ve been trying to stay alert and see what global issues are pressing the world right now. But we’re also trying to specifically focus our attention on issues and things in the world that are related to the values and ideas we talk about in Global Minds. So anything that we would be talking about in our meetings, like things revolving around human rights, identity, culture, and inclusivity. We really try to focus our posts around things that full under those categories so that we can make sure we are accurately representing global minds while we are sharing these educational resources.
Luke: I think that’s a really important point to highlight. I think it’s also a really good way to make sure your content is somewhat organized. You can touch on a lot of different movements and a lot of different issues but still stay focused on overarching principles. What would you say to other Global Minds chapters who want to use their social media for sharing educational resources and ways to get involved but don’t really know where to start?
Bridget: Personally, I think the thing that holds a lot of people back in uncertainty—uncertainty on how to make resources and uncertainty on how to choose topics. We use Canva to make everything. It’s really overwhelming the first couple of times you go on it. I know I had a ton of difficulties making the first couple of posts, but once you get started it gets so much easier. So don’t be shy!
Suzie: Definitely. And also I think a good starting point is to think about what you would normally be doing in meetings or what you are doing in meetings. I know our group had a lot of discussions about human rights and personal identity. So if there’s anything you are talking about that could be turned into an informational resource or into an opportunity for other people either in your community or in the world to join what you’re talking about, definitely use that as a starting point because it’s really important to be continuing these conversations.
Luke: If you look on your Instagram page, it is very aesthetically pleasing. All of the colors are very complimentary. So what do you do to make sure that it fits the overall theme.
Bridget: We use color codes to match the colors to the Global Minds logo, and that’s how we keep the colors consistent. For the look, we use templates. They’re a really easy way to have a post look uniform throughout all of the slides. And it’s also way easier that starting from a blank page.
Suzie: The thing that I think makes our account look like a part of Global Minds and cohesive with the Global Minds Initiative account is that we are using the color scheme of Global Minds. In our logo that we made for our group, we focused on the green because our school colors are green and white. But even within that, we are still using the Global Minds green.
Luke: Yeah, I think that’s a really good tip. And I also think that using templates is really helpful. As someone who does social media myself, it’s definitely very overwhelming to stare at a blank screen and not really know where to start, so I think templates are a really great way to get started. What are your plans for this school year with social media and in general with Global Minds?
Suzie: We definitely want to keep making educational resources. I’m sad that we didn’t get started sooner. Last year, we definitely could have done that if we had realized the online platform that we had. We do realize, though, that as the school year gets closer and school starts to be in session, some of our content will have to change towards more event-related things as well as recruitment related posts specifically for the people inside our school that could be joining our club. But we definitely want to keep making educational resources around global issues and current events.
Luke: That makes sense. And I think it will be interesting. Because you are so social media focused right now and with the upcoming school year being virtual or partially virtual, it will be helpful to have and already-established social media to aid you in whatever virtual events and programming goes on this school year.
Suzie: Yeah, definitely! And we are also looking into collaborations with other Global Minds groups. Like you said, a lot of things are probably going to have to be online for this upcoming school year, so we want to find a way to interact and engage with other chapters on an online level. So we will definitely be explore that.
Luke: And on the Global Minds end, we are still discussing what the next school year will look like. But we are hoping to engage chapters all together but online because one benefit of being virtual is that the geographic barriers are broken down. Stay tuned for updates from our team! That’s all the questions I have. That you so much for agreeing to this live and being so awesome on your social media. We can’t wait for this school year to see what will come from your chapter and I hope some other chapters can learn from you as well.
Suzie: Thank you for having us!
Bridget: Thank you!
*This interview has been edited for clarity.